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Better targeted AdSense ads?

What is AdSense?

AdSense ads are ads displayed on your site, on position where provided code is added. That is pay per click model, what means that every click on links/banner is cash in your pocket. Adsense ads are automatically targeted according to theme (keywords) of your page, and on the first sight, it is looking easy to monetize your site on this way. But, it is not that easy.

Maybe some of readers will be disappointed, but purpose of this article is not how to buy your first car from adsense checks. Instead of that, this article can help you to pay hosting expenses at least, making happy Google, visitors, advertisers and you.

So, forget MFA (made for adsense) sites, high paying keywords and arbitrage, for this kind of optimization, there is only small effort required.

AdSense Preview tool

High traffic page, with no matching product or CPA offer to cover theme of that page, is what we need for test.

For initial check, you need to download AdSense preview tool, i.e. plug-in for Internet Explorer. that is small *.reg file and installation is easy (double click on file).

So, go to AdSense Preview tool page, read instructions, download and install that plugin. More about AdSense Preview tool you can read on this page

Installed? Now, go to that test page. If that page is already indexed, and you can find it in Google index (search engine results), it is better. Now, right mouse click (anywhere on page), select Google AdSense Preview Tool, and, after small window is displayed, select country (see pic below, geographic targeting). At this time, Google spider is checking your page for keywords, according to those keywords (theme), you will see ads inside preview tool window. Now, compare ads inside widow with your page theme.

Below is screenshot of adsense preview tool window, taken after uploading this page. As you can see, ads are related to this page theme.

adsense preview tool screenshot

Web Page optimization

If your test page receives traffic from search engines, every touch can change your position. If it is not that important, you can change or replace word here and there, using preview tool as optimization tool. According to ads displayed, you can guess what keywords are targeted. Now, tweak your page in small steps to get ads what will match theme, adding or replacing keywords in title, headings and body (top middle, bottom).

Laser targeted Adsense Ads

Well, we will not use laser for targeting, but there is a way to get better targeted ads, even when your Web page is not that optimized for particular keywords. It is enough to tell google spider what part of your Web page contains keywords. Enclosing some part of webpage with specific HTML tags is easy and helps displaying better targeted adsense ads.

This is called "section targeting" and link to detailed explanation and examples is here.

What ads are displayed on site page?

If your site is targeted to USA visitors, and you are from outside USA, you will not see same ads as USA visitor. You have to use proxy in targeted country to control what ads are displayed to your targeted visitors.

Now, to fine tune ads displayed on your site, get leather board or skyscraper code and add it somewhere on your page. If it is necessary, connect using proxy. Look at sites displayed in ads block. High paying ads are on top, but if you want to remove some sites from that block, use "competition filter" on your adsense account and add those domains there.

How to remove arrows from adsense ads

Actually, with those ugly arrows, you can get better CTR. Surprised? Trick is in position, but you don't want to mislead your visitors, right? Anyway, google is automatically removing arrows from those ads (CTR too high), so trick will not work anymore. However, to remove those arrows from adsense ads block, just log to your account and go to "Allow & block ads" => "ad serving".

Ads position

Net is covered with advises for adsense ads position, how to blend ads into content, how to push visitor to click on ad...

In our test page, purpose to add adsense block is to fill unused space, and to get some return for our effort. In that case, we still want to keep our visitor, not to push him out for a few cents. That is different story, site content is what is attracting visitors, not ads. Overloading site with adsense ads is not recommended, not only due to lower payment from lower positioned ads. Adsense ads are all over the Net, and they are recognized as banners before. If you care for your visitors, do not blend (mix) ads with content, so that they are looking like site menu (see top right of this page for example), or links to the part of your site. Visitor don't like to feel cheated or used.

So, we will offer adsense to visitor as an option. On the end of this article, as example, is one block of ads (if it is still there), what could be interesting for you, or maybe not. If you are reading this now, that means that content is interesting, and your next focus could be on those ads. And, if ads are positioned in the middle of this article, or on the right side of this page will be (probably) skipped. The catch is to present visitor something what will offer more information about theme. In that case ads will be effective and visitor will not leave your site forever.

Most successful AdSense ads formats

Simple enough, three factors are important to target adsense ads better and to get better CTR (click-through rate.). Ads format, page theme (keywords), and Ads block position on page. These examples below are not suitable for websites where you are trying to build trust, and keep visitors. On marketing theme websites, where visitor is familiar with AdSense, my suggestion is to use other kind of advertising, due to possible low CTR.

First, to blend ads better, font size should the same as AdSense ads (10px), link color the same as links on your site. Most used type is the large block. Position of two blocks above the fold (looking like only content on the page) shows very high CTR (MFA sites). On directory type websites, this large block could be blended in directory listing (on the end of listing). Also, on this type of websites, a few single ad blocks can be mixed into listing. (between listed websites)

One more format, often used on "visitor, go away" websites is "menu". Positioned on top left corner of page, where visitor expect to see links to other sections of website, it gets good CTR if it is blended good in website menu (positioned above real menu). Horizontal menu block could be added on top or bottom of page.

Along with those three factors mentioned above, more are in the game. Colors on your website, hot spots and content are playing here also. The best way to find good ad format and position on page is testing. Read below.

AdSense tracking

For simple tracking (CTR) you need to create channel. So, for your test page, create channel for every ad format you want to test on that page. Testing ads on that page, you will spot most effective format and position. Don't forget, if some format is working on one site or web page, it doesn't mean that it is working on every site. Test adsense format and position on your site until you get best CTR.

There are some JavaScripts available, what can help to find what ads are clicked, and , according to that, some ads can be excluded using "competition filter", leaving only ads what attracts clicks, but that is another story, not covered here.

Anyway, to target AdSense ads better, you need to tune your page for related set of keywords, especially those paragraphs above and below block where AdSense ads are displayed.
For more about adsense tactic, check The definitive guide to Google Adsense

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